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Melissa Young ’03: A Woman on the Move

Melissa Young '03CEO and owner of Corporate Incentives, Inc., Melissa Young ‘03 is a woman on the move.

Armed with her UST liberal arts education in business administration (BBA), Young took on the world of marketing and promotional products and led her company to claim a top position in her industry. Hers is a certified woman-owned business (WBEA), and Young’s tremendous growth trajectory is remarkable.

Commended for Business Savvy & Community Engagement

Houston Business Journal selected Young as one of its 40-under-40 Class of 2017 — a distinction that honors exceptional business and community leaders. Also in 2017, she was named The Woodlands Interfaith Hometown Hero.

While running her thriving business, Young continues her civic work. She serves on the board and is the Immediate Past Chair for Leadership Montgomery County. She also is on the Board of Trustees for the United Way of Greater Houston, chairs the Montgomery County Regional Council and is a member of the Conroe Chamber of Commerce.

Young Makes her Company Known

Young said, “Corporate Incentives sells marketing and promotional items to companies locally as well as all over the globe. We have been blessed and we have risen to the top 1 percent of companies in our industry from a revenue perspective, competing with large publicly traded companies.” 

Young bought the company from her mother in 2019. “I have worked in the business since my time at UST, and we have seen incredible growth over the years,” she said. 

UST Sets Young on her Career Path

Young, who grew up Protestant, appreciated the well-rounded education she received at UST and considers it her anchor and guiding light after the sudden passing of her father.

 “After my father’s death, I was feeling lost,” Young said. “The connections that I made and the success that I had at the university were very important to setting me on the pathway that I am on today.”

She excelled at St. Thomas and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Cameron School of Business. “I chose UST because I wanted an experience that was not just focused on business (my chosen field of study),” Young said. “I liked the fact that UST is a liberal arts school, and I appreciated the emphasis on theology and philosophy.”

She counts two professors in marketing and philosophy as mentors. “I consider Dr. [Ted] Rebard a mentor of mine,” she said. “I took every philosophy class from him that I could. His courses opened my mind to a deeper thinking. A required reading, “Man’s Search for Meaning” was transformative for me.

“I also really enjoyed Dr. [Lynn] Godwin’s classes in the Marketing Department. I learned a lot about the science of consumer behavior, and what I learned in those courses is relevant in my business today.”

Young Recommends a UST Education to Montgomery County Students

Young is amazed at the growth in The Woodlands and Conroe since she moved to the area in the 1990s. “I believe that this growth is awesome!” Young said. “It creates a vibrant business community and a more diverse county. 

“I am thrilled that UST has chosen Conroe to place some very impactful programs,” she said. “They will be bringing the richness of their philosophy and theology in the form of a Master of Public Policy as well as masters level programs in faith and theology. I know that the spirit of the University will bring value to our community. I am proud to be a graduate of UST and I believe that the quality of the education offered at UST will provide great opportunities for students.”